One Man's Initiation: 1917

  • by John Dos Passos
  • Narrated by Jeff Woodman
  • 3 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Springing from the author's first-hand experience as an ambulance driver and Red Cross worker during World War I, this autobiographical first novel is noteworthy for its vivid and colorful evocation of France at that time and for its passionate indictment of war.
The author's disillusionment with war for a time turned him toward socialism and against capitalism. Ultimately, after being labeled "pro-German" and "pacifist", the author concluded that the quasi-religion of Marxism turned loose more brutal aggression than "poor old Capitalism ever dreamed of".

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Audible Editor Reviews

Much like the fictional protagonist of One Man's Initiation: 1917, John Dos Passos volunteered after college as an ambulance driver in France during World War I. This novella - Dos Passos' first published work - reshapes those autobiographical experiences into a stirring portrayal of the horrors of war.
Jeff Woodman, an AudioFile Best Voice winner, performs every aspect of the audiobook with appropriate energy, whether he's singing patriotic songs like a guileless soldier or voicing the diversely accented young men who encounter dehumanizing destruction for the first time and wind up disillusioned, or, like Dos Passos himself did, politicized. The discontinuous literary style reflects the innate disorder of war.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hemingway’s thrall...

To read this is to see at once how much is owed by Ernest Hemingway to this particular novel and this wonderful novelist. This novel represents a fully fleshed out narrative that is an interesting alternative to the War Poets and illustrates the boisterousness, naivety and wrong-headedness with which a generation of young Americans went into the First World War and the scars that they carried out of the conflict and bombardment of their cultural sensitivities.

The vignettes dealing with the death and mauling of men and animals are arresting. The unrestrained call to Socialism is revelatory. The rite of passage links 19th Century American literature to the exciting and frightening dawn of a wonderful and transformative century for that country. Where did it all go wrong?
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- Welsh Mafia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-12-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios